Protecting your pension

Getting your pension might seem like the distant future but if you're taking time off work, you need to make sure that your future payments won't be affected and that you get what you're entitled to. 

If you're confused about what you can receive, you can get more advice from the CLIC Sargent Welfare Advice Service on 0800 815 4439 or

You can also get more information on

Protecting your State Pension

State Pensions are paid to people when they reach State Pension age. How much you get depends on your National Insurance contributions - payments that come out of your salary. 

If you need to stop working for a while, you won't be paying your usual contributions but you can get National Insurance credits instead. These are available to people who can't work because of their illness or disability. It ensures the time you spend off work doesn’t affect your State Pension when you retire, by filling the gaps in your record. 

Whether you get credits automatically or not depends on what benefits you’ve been receiving – you can check that here. You might need to apply in writing to claim. 

Workplace pensions

Workplace pensions are arranged by your employer and are a simple way of saving for your retirement. A percentage of your pay is put into the pension scheme automatically every payday. This percentage is split between you and your employer.

Your employer must enrol you into their workplace pension if you are an eligible employee, regardless of any disability or health condition.

Under the Equality Act every workplace pension scheme has a 'non-discrimination' rule. This means that pension managers are not allowed to treat you less favourably because of your disability or health condition.

The law says that your pension provider must provide you with accessible information on your pension scheme and how to complain if you think something has gone wrong.

Ill health cover 

Some workplace pension schemes include 'ill health' cover. If you're not sure whether yours does and want to know whether you're covered or not, speak to your manager, the HR department, or the trustees of the pension scheme and ask them for a copy of the rules.

If you cannot work due to ill health, you may be able to take your pension benefits early. This is known as an ill-health pension and means you may receive money before the age of 55.

Where next?

Updated January 2018, next review due 2019.